Adoption_Hvid hånd_sort_hjerte

An adoption must always be in the best interest of the adoptee. This consideration and the future well-being of the adoptee is continually held as the crucial principle in all adoption activities.

Types of adoption:

  • Adoption of a Danish child/adult
  • Adoption of a foreign child/adult
  • Adoption of a relative
  • Adoption without consent 

The adoption rules vary depending on the type of adoption.

All legal ties between the adoptee and the biological parents cease on adoption. This means for instance, that the adoptee gets right of inheritance from the adoptive parents and their relatives.

Adoption of a foreign child 

Applicants who want to be approved as adoptive parents must meet certain general requirements. In order to ensure and promote the welfare of the adoptive child, everyone who applies for approval to adopt will be examined by the State Administration, before the Joint Council of Adoption determines whether or not an approval can be granted.

Applicants who wish to adopt must at least once attend a pre-adoption counselling course. Participation in the course costs DKK 2,500 (2013). 

Requirements for adoptive parents

The general requirements for approval are:

  • the age difference between child and applicant must not exceed 42 years
  • the adoptive parents should as a minimum have lived together for 2½ years and they must be married at the time of approval
  • the adoptive parents' physical and mental health must not be such that it could have a negative influence on the childs' situation
  • the adoptive parents must have adequate housing conditions
  • the adoptive parents' financial situation must be adequate
  • the adoptive parents must not have been convicted of any offences that may raise doubts as to whether they are suitable adopters.

There may be specific requirements that must be met for different types of adoption.

Assessment and approval

The adoption application must be submitted along with information on income, assets and health. Applicants are also required to state whether they have been convicted of a crime.

The Joint Council of Adoption decides whether applicants can be approved as adoptive parents.

The Joint Council of Adoption consists of three members, a social worker, a physician and a legal member.

If the Joint Council of Adoption decides that the general requirements are met, the applicants may continue the adoption process.

The two Danish organisations AC International Child Support and DanAdopt are in charge of placing foreign children in Danish adoptive families.  

The Danish National Board of Adoption assigns Danish children for national adoption.

Adoption of relatives

Adoption of relatives refers to:  

  • child or adoptive child of a spouse 
  • grandchild
  • siblings
  • niece or nephew
  • child of parents to whom the applicants have developed a special relationship through close and long-term acquaintance


Some of the ordinary requirements are waived in connection with adoption of relatives. The age difference between child and adoptive parents may for instance exceed 42 years, and approval as adoptive parents is not required.


Complaints with regard to decisions made by the State Administration may be submitted to The Danish National Board of Adoption.


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Senest opdateret 1. jul 2013
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